Fifteen-year-old Josh Alford of Brandon knew what buck he wanted to kill when he hit the woods with his brother and uncle during Christmas break because the big 12-point typical had been captured on trail-cam photos several times.

What Alford didn't know until he killed it on Dec. 29 was that it was just a monster Yazoo County deer: It has been green scored by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks at 192 gross inches.

The unofficial net totaled in the 160s, Magnolia Records keeper Rick Dillard said.

Alford, who plays football and baseball at Brandon High School, was hunting with his brother Jake and uncle Cinch Ledbetter. He was in a ladder stand overlooking a long, green food plot.

"I think it was alfalfa," he said

Alford said Ledbetter had several trail-camera photos of the deer from the archery season and his uncle's family had found several of the buck's shed antlers during previous years.

Ledbetter positioned his two nephews at different spots 300 yards apart in a wooded area, with Jake in a ground blind because he had a broken leg.

Josh Alford said he walked to the ladder stand near the Black River and climbed into it at 3 p.m.

After seeing nothing for two hours, the area was quickly overrun with deer.

"Deer were running everywhere," Alford said. "I saw a spike, then a bunch of does; I counted 35 does.

"I shot the biggest doe, then five or six minutes later, a spike came out with his nose to the ground, then the (big) buck came out, and I saw his horns."

The big deer was walking away from Alford, so at 5:06 p.m. he put the crosshairs of his Leupold scope mounted atop a 7mm CVA Altima Elite rifle on the buck's opposite shoulder and pulled the trigger.

"My uncle taught me that," he said.

The buck dropped, then rose and ran out of the food plot.

Alford remained in his stand until dark, and then walked to meet Ledbetter. After telling his uncle about his experience, Alford and his uncle searched for two hours but couldn't find the deer.

Ledbetter found a big deer track but lost the trail, and Alford also followed the buck's hoof prints before losing them.

They returned at 9:30 a.m. the next morning.

"My uncle was walking ahead of me and my brother while we were trying to start a four-wheeler when I heard him yell something like 'I found him!'" Alford said. "I left my brother and ran up there, and I couldn't believe it when I saw that buck.

"I was never so happy in my life."

The animal had collapsed 30 yards from the edge of the food plot.

Alford said the buck was small, only 200 pounds, but his eyes were glued to the antlers riding above the deer's head.

"I had no idea (his rack) was half that size," he said.

Ellis Solomon Taxidermy in Brandon is preparing a shoulder mount of the buck. The rack is a 6x6 mainframe with a 3-inch abnormal point protruding below the left brow tine and a 1 1/2-inch sticker about 8 inches from the end of the left main beam.

The youngster and Ledbetter entered the rack in several local big buck contests, including one at Simmons Sporting Goods in Bastrop, La., which has a Mississippi big-buck division.

But Alford said he likes his new-found status as a monster-buck slayer: His high-school friends now call him "the Man."

See more than 100 other bucks killed this season – and add photos of your own – in the Nikon Big Buck Contest, which is open to all registered users of this site.

Everyone who enters will be eligible to win a set of Nikon Monarch ATB 10x42 binoculars (valued at more than $300), which will be given away in a random drawing at the end of the hunting season.

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